I’ve started my own weekly meme called 5 Books Friday! It should be fun to do. I just hope I can keep it up.
This week’s topic is: 5 books I wish everyone would read
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – This non-fiction title reads so much like fiction that it’s hard to believe the story is true. A black woman in the ’50s goes to the doctor for stomach trouble; the cancer cells taken from her without informed consent continued to grow; she and her family were never told; more than 60 years later HeLa cells are still used by scientists in all branches of medical research. So much of our current medical knowledge came about because of these cells, but few people know where they came from.
The Religion War by Scott Adams – Although there is controversy around the author and the statements he has made about women, I still think this book has merit. Sometimes art just needs to be appreciated in spite of its creator. As the title suggests, the world’s major religions are at war, and The Smartest Man In the World must find the one person on the whole planet who can stop an impending apocalypse. It’s a quick but thought provoking read.
The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop – I received this book from a monthly club I signed up for in Grade 5. It has been read more times than I can count and I’ve used it to help teach other kids to read when they were struggling. It’s about family, and bravery, and loss, and love, and a giant toy castle with a single knight who comes to life just when a little boy needs a friend the most.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – I read this book for a school project in Grade 8 and it has stuck with me all this time. It was my first true introduction to the atrocities of WWII, told in a way that a young person can understand. It also proved to me that I could read something completely outside of my favourite genres and still find amazing stories. Although I’ve read other books by Lowry, this will always be the one I really associate with her.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – When Neil Gaiman read some of this book he insisted that the author continue the story and get it published. If that isn’t a recommendation, I don’t know what is. Set in an alternate history Napoleonic War, the rediscovery of magic by an unassuming country gentleman turns the world on it’s head. The writing is wonderfully descriptive and almost lyrical.